Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Online Video Advertising may soon match TV Advertising

The Present

At the present time, online video viewers are lucky. And I say that as one of them. Most video sites are free, with advertising (both text and video-based) paying the bills and ensuring we get to watch good content without having to pay.

What’s more, the advertising is nowhere near as intrusive or as frequent as it is on traditional television. There’s probably four times as much advertising on TV as there is on the Web, on average.
However, according to AdAge, that could soon be set to change.

The Future

Starting in September, Nielsen intends to unify its data collecting to include both TV and the Web. So the advertising attached to a particular show, whether it be online or off, will be noted. This may not seem important to us, the end consumers, but from February next year it will be.

That is when the data is expected to begin being used for advertising negotiations. And to make the data accurate for this purpose, shows broadcast online would have to show the same ads as when they’re shown on TV. Which will mean a significant ramping up of advertising against online video.

TV Vs. The Web

This is all part of the convergence which is happening between traditional TV and Web TV. More and more consumer electronics are Internet-enabled, and that means people have multiple options for watching TV other than the box in the corner.

Time Warner and Comcast’s ‘TV Everywhere’ is a reaction to that, giving consumers more viewing options while still retaining the ability to squeeze cable subscriptions out of people’s pockets. As TV andonline video meld into one, more advertising is almost guaranteed.

Keeping It Free

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as advertising is the only way content is going to be made available for free in the future. There are only two options for media companies seeking to make a mint from the Web: a subscription paywall or enough advertising to keep the content free. And I know which one I, and the majority of other people, would choose.


So I say increase the amount of advertising. So long as it coincides with a commitment to keeping the sites free and an increase in the amount of premium content which Web TV viewers are crying out for.

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